Local media is reporting on a Florida local school board meeting concerning an invitation to a local Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) official to speak at a high school class in 2011. According to the report:
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 Dozens of citizens attending the Hillsborough County School Board meeting Tuesday night voiced disapproval of the presence of a Council on American-Islamic Relations representative speaking to their children at school.Most at the meeting were upset over Tampa CAIR Executive Director Hassan Shibly being invited to speak to a high school class in 2011. Shibly said he’s been invited to make similar presentations to college students, along with civic and community organizations. He said he is open to dialogue on the issue.Allegations of a CAIR connection to funding terrorism resurfaced at the meeting. “Our concern is having people who are related to an organization that is tied to terrorism in our classrooms,” Community Issues Council spokesperson Terry Kemple said. Shibly said such allegations of funding terrorism are not true. “Given the current security environment — how Muslims are under the microscope — if any of the allegations that they had against us were true, our organization would have been shut down years ago,” Shibly said. Shibly spoke out in an effort to clear-up misconceptions about Muslims and stress the importance of tolerance and diversity. Many citizens who spoke in the Board meeting demanded a workshop to discuss a screening process for potential speakers in schools. Parent Kimberly Kelley made her stance on the issue very clear: “As a concerned citizen, and a mom-to-be, I would not allow you to have this man in the school, speaking to my child. This is my right as a mom, and as a parent, and as a taxpayer,” Kelley said. “Ignorance leads to misunderstanding, which leads to fear and hatred. The key and solution to that is just getting to know each other and recognizing we are humans,” Shibly said. School Board Chairwoman Candy Olson cautioned about going too far on restricting who can and can’t speak in a school.”It is my view, in this day and age, a real challenge to navigate between security and liberty; between being safe and being free,” Olson said. “We have to do both.” The Board decided not to have the workshop. The decision led to disapproving shouts from those calling for the workshop.Those upset with the decision said they would continue to be at School Board meetings until such a workshop is held.
Documents released in the Holy Land Trial have revealed that the founders and current leaders of CAIR were part of the Palestine Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood as well as identifying the organization itself as being part of the US. Brotherhood. A recent post discussed an interview with the Deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in which he confirms a relationship between his organization and CAIR. Investigative research posted on GMBDW had determined that CAIR had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and CAIR and its leaders have a long history of defending almost all individuals accused of terrorism by the US. government, frequently calling such prosecutions a “war on Islam.” In 2009, a US federal judge ruled “The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas.”